Security Update - Q2 2018

Somewhat analogous to a police department issueing a press release praising the apprehension of some shoplifters as representing tough law enforcement, while organized crime and street violence remains untouched. As long as the largest and most obvious/effective rule breakers remain unpunished and still reaping huge rewards, CCP’s attempts to show they are serious about removing botting from EVE will remain laughable.

The EVE sovernty map will tell the truth on how effective the anti-botting campaign is in eliminating the worse culprits, all other metrics will be less revealing or accurate. Target the organized crime first!

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Eve players cynical? no way!

8771 account bans for RMT related activities since February
4250 account bans for botting related activities since February
5377 account bans for account hacking since February

I have a few questions:

  • Are those bans perma bans or temporary bans?
  • An account that was banned for multiple reasons (RMT and/or botting and/or account hacking), is that account listed here multiple times?
  • How many different players were affected by those bans? Because if every botter owns 50 accounts on average, you then banned only 85 people for botting (Just an example to explain my question).
  • How many people reported bots or how many bot reports did you receive?
  • How many ISK and PLEX were taken out of the game because of bans?
  • How old was an account on average before it got a ban?
  • How many of those accounts were Alpha or Omega?
  • How many active accounts does Eve have? Without something to compare, those numbers are just arbitrary, meaningless.

All excellent questions!

As they say, the devil is in the details.

Those are honest questions.

Let’s take this example:

4250 account bans for botting related activities since February

That makes 1000 banned acocunts per months, or 50 per working day. If one botter has on average 50 accounts that makes only one banned botter per day and suddenly that big number appears in a total different light.

I don’t want to bully someone but the Dev blog does miss some important informations.


Please CCP, get out of here with that BS. You were even given names and still can’t manage. r/Eve - Confession of a botmaker


I know right?

Yup, our security guys mentioned this thread and have been looking through it.

Most of the stuff there is pending investigation, no update at this stage though.

Hopefully they’ll nail 'em.


That is quite the mental leap.

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now thats number i like to see
8771 account bans for RMT related activities since February
4250 account bans for botting related activities since February
5377 account bans for account hacking since February

i guess we all keep reporting and you guys keep baning this guys … perma ban them all

i know its hard to give more infos about that stuff but its interessting for all of us becuse this botters hurt all of us

thanks for your work on that stuff guys from CCP

sometimes i have the feeling that some of us EVE players are really ungrateful … sorry to say that


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Do you have any information on how many people have been banned for multiple alpha accounts. People openly admit to this on the forum regularly and even more often talk about how easy it is to do so, Implying that they do so or know someone who does but haven’t reported it.
Assuming it is being enforced getting word out it is bannable would do a lot to discourage people. And if it’s not being enforced it needs to be.

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@CCP_Falcon & (!) Team Security.

My sincere apologies, but that devblog was so bog standard in scope and form that in the current context of developments it unfortunately comes across as a kind of “Ministry of Information” message. I am certain some people will get the unfortunate reference.

The time of “ask not what CCP can do for you, ask what you can do for CCP” is done, over. Too much has accumulated, the unfortunate timeline of responses following only PR challenges has done a lot of damage.

Now keep in mind, it makes no difference whether that is intended, unintended, actually the case or a matter of perception problems. This is complex, and by default a very fragile thing.

I am not saying that CCP intentionally screwed up. But the perception has consolidated that it has and that this persists. That is a problem. Particularly as these numbers since February pale quite a bit in relation to what many of us - quietly or anything but - know to exist in organised form in New Eden. At minimum there is a mismatch. The communications thusfar, with their strict focus on individual botting, has not helped one bit in that regard.

Now it may very well be that it is a stumbling block of statistics as foundation for policy and actions. That would not be odd, or even a case of blame. That happens. This is a known organisational challenge in business. It could also be cumulative - unintended - consequences of policy changes or resource allocations over time. Equally known challenge.

Be all that as it may, you have a growing perception problem which carries risks for more than PR focus. That should make matters a serious subject. Now that discussion is not the player prerogative, that is CCP’s domain. But as you are well aware, the intedependancies are intrinsic. So please be very careful, communicative, clear.

Not like this.

What is much more of pressing interest is the matter of correlations. Data and insights on networks of bot activity, because this has become a rapidly growing impact factor on player perception and behaviour.

You already had to institute changes in policies because different types of players with different types of behaviour started to enter New Eden following the F2P and Alpha changes - not accustomed to EVE. Such as the change in temp ban policy on first offence and other changes. This all makes sense, as there are transition curves that come along with that (not to mention I imagine quite the extra load on customer support along with all that).

But in light of increasing awareness of - whether it perceptional or actual - ripple effects, particularly when symbols of big organisation become attached, it adds energy to potential of unwanted behavioural impulses, not to mention the core of the perception challenge (why should player X even compete, or advocate against).

So when you do a devblog like this, it really should have a different focus. Identify concerns, perception challenges, real challenges. Engage on those. Do not simply dump a few numbers while for weeks (and longer) the public debate has long moved far beyond that.

Look, once upon a time long ago, some players signalled on several trends - which due to very normal business and organisational challenges we are all familair with - which carried a high potential of being misinterpreted or not functionally engaged on by CCP at the time of each trend. In some cases CCP picked up on that, using the luxury of external observation to match signals against analysis and consider the non-statistical and mechanical aspects of a situation or challenge. In other cases you missed it, in three specific cases it was deliberately denied and ignored. Primarily because some people refused to alternate and exchange that external position with internal positions. Basing decisions on what were nothing more than assumptions, no matter the data.

Where CCP picked up on things, matters went well and there were clear upticks. Where CCP stumbled on picking up on things, the results were less than optimal. Where CCP simply sidestepped, it was painful. Very painful, and costly.

CCP runs its venture and its game very well, but you guys have a tendency to stumble over perception problems, please do not let this run its own course.

So here is a set of practical (albeit important) questions:

  1. Of the bans in question since february, is there a cyclic pattern, insight ornregional or activity patterns, and do you have a timeline of numbers? Incidentally, the numbers on these of reporting are also of high interest.

  2. Do you have insights on organisation between banned accounts (which is different from associated account status, as we all know)?

  3. Of those raw numbers (as they are raw), what are the ratios on repeat offence, associated offence, permanent bans. As it really is not clear, thus leaving way too much room for selective interpretation.

On the side, should we expect answers here, or on Reddit :slight_smile: (I know, couldn’t resist that one).
Or not at all.

P.S. Hilmar’s birthday is passed, I’m sure it’s ok to disturb him now :slight_smile:


Players have been indicating on r/Eve that they’ve been reporting the same players botting for months on end with zero action from CCP (there were even a few examples of over a year). Quite a few of the bots are also running exploits as they’re able to detect when cloaked ships land on grid and warp off. Again, CCP has done nothing.

With a grand total of 2 (some say 1.5) individuals comprising the entirety of CCP’s security team (probably zero now since it’s “summer”), how can we even take CCP seriously at this point? This is another direct example of the massive cuts CCP made year (Team Security was cut 75%).

The reality is that bots have won and CCP is ill-equipped to even deal with documented cases of botting.

A ‘mental leap’ would imply the existence of a brain, something not particularly evident in that person’s posts.

Well, I’ll be damned. Good job. :slight_smile:

Maybe CCP needs to send some spy into Riot to learn arcana of that security job. Oh wait, dont they already have few former CCPers there? What are they waiting for? :female_detective:

Sadly Eve doesn’t have a end of a match the same way that Riot’s game does.

Detecting and banning more accounts is not the final answer, the key to the problem’s solution is to make automation unprofitable and hard by changing game mechanics.

In a game as complex as EvE there will always be game mechanics open to exploitation which can only be altered/fixed once these exploits have been uncovered, which is why reporting such activity is important and perhaps CCP needs to put even more effort into communicating the extent of the problem and ensuring players know how to properly verify and report suspicious activity.

Also, ask anyone who works in the security industry and they’ll tell you that it’s a neverending arms race. Criticise CCP’s efforts all you want but we should also recognise that botting is a widespread and continually evolving problem throughout the gaming industry.

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What an interesting story, the link you provided. I never knew there was much of a bot problem on EVE.

Obviously therefore, I’m quite ignorant of the entire problem. However, after reading that thread on reddit, and watching the embedded video, might I suggest the following:

It seems that the entire operation relies on the bots being able to warp to a POS when troubled in whatever way. So again, this suggestion may be ignorant of the larger problem, but perhaps if CCP simply removed POSes from the game entirely this might solve the problem?

POSes are an archaic structure anyway, what purpose do they serve anymore (except shielding bot armies apparently) since the bonuses attached to them (reprocessing/industry, etc) have been removed from the game?

So perhaps simply removing them from the game all together would solve this issue? Or am I completely missing some critical point (which is entirely possible since I have no idea how this entire system is even done).

You’re correct. Removing POS would making it harder for such bots to easily “get safe”.
They’d have to warp to safe spot or outpost instead.

CCP are removing POS. Citadels are intended to replace them but they’re doing it gradually to allow players plenty of time to migrate assets because POS were central to old sovereignty mechanics as well as being used for moon mining for over a decade.

A bot would still be able to warp to a Citadel to tether instead but it takes more effort in time and ISK to place a Citadel in a system than a PoS so this does raise the bar. However, when you consider how much money these bots can make and also how widespread the problem is, even this is unlikely to have much impact.

EDIT: Proposal - RMT counter